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Tesla’s new Autopilot controls are controversial >

Tesla’s new Autopilot controls are controversial >

picture: @zfescht

Unlike in the US, there was no recall of Tesla’s Autopilot system in Europe last week, but the innovation introduced with the necessary software update also affects European customers. Because part of this appears to be stricter oversight around the world regarding whether the person behind the wheel remains alert while using Autopilot – if this isn’t the case a few times, the system will be banned for a week. Tesla drivers in Germany and elsewhere this week tested the exact conditions. Some were also angry because they saw autopilot locking as punishment without the possibility of defence.

Previous lock without camera in Tesla

“For maximum safety and responsibility, the use of Autopilot functions will be blocked if improper use is detected,” says Tesla information in German on the software from 2023.44.30, which also marks this year’s holiday update with new functions. Which ones are included depends on the hardware, as the previously announced 3D parking display initially only arrived for electric cars that don’t have ultrasonic sensors. The specific handling of autopilot lock is not the same for every vehicle.

According to owners, software instructions on some Tesla displays state that the shutdown occurs “for approximately a week” after three forced deactivations of the Autopilot (each preceded by several warnings). As for others, the number of deactivations before suspension is five. Their number seems to depend on the Tesla in question: if an interior camera is fitted, you can allow yourself four forced shutdowns before the next one is blocked, without a camera only two.

At the same time, this should mean that Tesla is now also using the in-cockpit camera in Europe to monitor drivers for the purpose of controlling Autopilot. Customers with the FSD option in North America have long known this, and German Tesla drivers, among others, confirmed this week that they were also warned if they didn’t look at the road for several seconds. This system should be particularly sensitive immediately after autopilot is activated and then allow you to look away for a longer period of time.

The interior camera was introduced in Tesla with the Model 3 and now it is also installed in the Model Y and now in the Model S and Model As tests have also shown, it is currently still possible to obstruct the camera’s view once covered without this being registered as an autopilot violation. In North America, this could soon lead to Tesla’s next major recall via update, because NHTSA has indicated through the Autopilot meter that it wants to monitor how well the treatment works.

Autopilot control is sensitive at times

Of course, this part is deleted for electric cars that do not have a camera. With these devices, the sensors only record whether there is force exerted on the steering wheel, which is intended to show that the hands are on the wheel. If not, you will receive warnings, and after several of them, the autopilot will turn off. However, lately, Tesla has been counting, and only three forced deactivations mean a break for this week.

In addition to many strange tests, this aspect of Tesla’s update has also led to intense discussions. It was a new camera surveillance At the German TFF Forum Although it’s sometimes seen as annoying, it’s usually not excessive – it only seems to kick in when you’ve actually relied on autopilot to go it alone for too long. The steering wheel control is sometimes said to be too sensitive, and sometimes it warns you not to turn the steering wheel back for no reason.

These system errors were previously annoying, but now they can lead to autopilot blocking. It was not initially known whether Tesla resets the deactivation counter to zero after a certain period of time and whether there was a way to reverse the deactivation.